"Hoosier Bowl" Sounds Right for Irish

We have found a solution that will allow Bob Davie to keep his job, at least short-term. If Notre Dame beats Purdue, put together a "Hoosier Bowl" in Fort Wayne matching up the Irish and Indiana for the best team in the state. In an era of lowered expectations for the Irish, wouldn't this be an appropriate championship? IrishEyes presents its staff predictions for the Purdue contest here, for subscribers.

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November 30, 2001

Irish, Davie Eyeing
"First Ever" Hoosier Bowl

The IrishEyes.Com NewsService

W. LAFAYETTE, IN (IE) – What Notre Dame needs is a "Hoosier Bowl."


Here is what IrishEyes proposes.   Now that Indiana has beaten Purdue, have Notre Dame -- if it beats the Boilers tomorrow -- go on and play the Hoosiers next Saturday in a neutral site game somewhere within the state boundaries.  Fort Wayne sounds about right.  Then the staff and players can go about their business for another week, oblivious to the fact that a contract extension means nothing if it is not backed up by improved on-the-field performance.


Then Bob Davie can claim that his fifth squad was the first in Notre Dame history to win the Hoosier Bowl.  It will carry the same weight as his "first ever BCS" claim earlier this week.


A cynical view to be sure, but one is needed after the Pollyanna defense for his job that Davie presented on Tuesday.


MARK ALLEN, "The Fan's Perspective" -- It has been written that Bob Davie is going out with guns blazing, taking aim at Notre Dame Athletic Director Kevin White. I also think the team will end the season with guns blazing. Notre Dame's defense has become a strength and Purdue, strangely, does not have a very strong offense. Look for Terrance Howard and a healthy Ryan Grant to be the key on offense for the Irish and the defense to play as well as it did in the first three quarters against Stanford. NOTRE DAME, 23-16.

TOM BECK, "Beck's Beat"-- This is the last regular season home game for the Purdue seniors. Purdue has Ray Guy Award finalist Travis Dorsch as its difference-making long-range field goal specialist and a John Mackey Award finalist in Tim Stratton at tight end. The Boilers spread the field on offense. But the fact is that Joe Tiller squad's has been mediocre this season. Purdue has been outscored, outgained and outplayed by the opposition most of the season, despite having a Bowl-eligible 6-4 record. (If Notre Dame swapped schedules with the Boilers, would their records be reversed?) ND should win its final game of the season to mercifully end at a disappointing 5-6. NOTRE DAME, 24-17.

ALAN TIEULI, Managing Editor, IrishEyes -- If this is Bob Davie's last game -- and it certainly should and almost certainly will be -- this does not bode well for the Irish.  Dan Devine dropped his final contest, 17-10, in the 1981 Sugar Bowl.  Gerry Faust was humiliated by Miami in his goodbye, 58-7.  I still can't shake the open-mouthed image of Lou Holtz after he lost in overtime to USC in his bitter farewell.   Does Davie deserve better?  These are two underachieving teams, but what makes the difference here is that a home favorite following a straight-up road loss is usually a deadly combination for the opposition.  That, combined with Notre Dame's abysmal road record career-wise under Davie makes for happy Boilermakers.  PURDUE, 28-17.

JOE TYBOR, Founder, IrishEyes --   You'd like to pick Notre Dame over Purdue by three with Nicholas Setta kicking the winning field goal, just because he deserves it after such a fine season. But, the Irish have quite a few injuries and under Bob Davie. Notre Dame has never really filled those in very well. It could be Davie's final game for the Irish. The question is whether that will be an upper or downer for his team. Purdue is starting a freshman quarterback, but he was pretty impressive last week in a losing effort against Indiana, passing for 263 yards, completing 31 of 62 passes. That's right, 62 passes. You could view this as the Joe Tiller/Bob Davie Bowl. Tiller took over Purdue the same year Davie took over the Irish, and Davie could have had the Purdue job. Which team's cupboard do you think was more bare at the time? Right now, Tiller is 39-20 at Purdue; Davie is 34-25 at Notre Dame. The teams are 2-2 against each other since Tiller and Davie took over, each winning the home contests. Regardless of what happens Saturday, Tiller will be back. Can't say that for Davie, of course. On balance, I think the Irish will find a way to lose--by three. PURDUE, 20-17.


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